History / Successes

Biotechnology within Heavy Industry

Lactosan GesmbH & Co.KG is a biotechnology company which was founded in 1989 in Kapfenberg by pioneers in the area of agricultural biotechnology. The company concept was the production of lactic acid bacteria which were offered to agricultural businesses and feed manufacturer as probiotics and starter cultures for silage. The original product line was then only comprised of two items.

Lactosan was the first company in the new founded industrial park in Kapfenberg.

The location of the company was selected in an area where only heavy industry was present. The foundation of a biotechnological company in such an infrastructure was exceptional at that time.

Takeover by Schaumann

The crucial year in the company's history was in 1994. Schaumann saw great potential in the production of lactic acid bacteria for silage and probiotics in animal feed and took over the Lactosan company. Targeted investments and consistent further innovations resulted in successful products in a short period of time. In  1998/99 and 2002/03 there were pronounced expansions and improvements in order to successfully deal with the growing need for silage additives and probiotics.

Installation of the fluidized bed dryer for probiotics production 2003

Expansion stage 3

Despite the investments in 1998/1999 and 2002/2003, it was to be expected that the capacity limits would again soon be reached due to the constantly growing variety of products, customers and the continuous integration of production processes such as can filling and bagging. It is also the philosophy of Lactosan to be prepared in advance to deal with continuously increasing quality standards. The implementation of the safety regulations of the ATEX Explosion Protection Guideline which has been in effect since June, 2006 had to be allowed as far as powder handling is concerned. The expansion begun in August 2005 and completed in spring 2007 was therefore used to invest in future innovations.  The investment which was the largest in the company's history at the time is a milestone for Lactosan because not only were capacities for existing products expanded but it was also possible to clear the way for new business segments. The new fermentation plant in its own building now makes it possible to produce bio-catalytic enzymes for industrial biotechnology on a large scale. The modern research and development laboratory with a development plant which is being expanded are further evidence of the innovative spirit of the company. It was also possible to obtain the assistance of four public agencies, the Styrian Business Promotion Agency (steirische WirtschaftsförderungsgesmbH, SFG), the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRD), the European Redevelopment Program (ERP) and the Federal Ministry of Finance and Labor (BMWA) for this innovative project.

Successes

 Article diversity could be increased from two products in 1989 to approximately 130 today and includes special products based on living lactic acid bacteria for the ensilage of fresh plant materials as feeds or energy plants for biogas production, probiotics for production livestock and for starter cultures in the food industry.The products are sold worldwide, currently in over 40 countries, by distribution companies to the end customers. The following examples illustrate the excellent services of the company:

  • Silage additives
    In the last few years, Lactosan has become one of the leading manufacturers for silage additives worldwide. Through its own research activities and in collaboration with universities it has been possible to bring eight special products onto the market in the form of granulates and powders.
  • Probiotics
    The probiotics are used as biological growth enhancers to boost the animal’s health, primarily in pig farming. After anti-biological growth promoters were banned in feed in 2006, probiotics became more significant. Two products which are authorized for five animal categories in the EU resulted from innovative ideas combined with intensive, targeted research.
  • Contract manufacturer
    Lactosan became a successful contract manufacturer of the widest range of micro-organisms through increased investments in the plant facility, the continuous acquisition of know-how and continuous improvement of production technology.
  • Translating ideas into finished products
    Research products and process development are implemented for in-house and external projects, also in collaboration with universities, due to three microbiological R&D laboratories and the pilot plant, a small-scale copy of the production plant. The state-of-the-art R&D equipment in combination with the new production plant allow Lactosan to successfully transform ideas into products.